When a new prospect calls your office and asks you to send them more information about your company, what do you send them?
Okay, you might try to keep them on the phone for a bit and try to narrow down exactly what they are looking for.
And you might want to ask a series of questions to determine their level of interest and whether your product or service would be a good fit for them.
All that would be a good business practice, good front-desk management. But what I’m talking about is what type of information materials can you send new prospects on the spot?
Do you have an Information Kit at your fingertips?
By that, I mean do you have a pdf (or a series of pdfs) for email sending, or a printed information kit? I’d love to hear you say both.
Before we had email and the Internet, the only way people could learn about your company would be to call you and ask you to send them some information.
Back then, most companies had some type of printed information kit (typically a pocket folder with multiple inserts).
Nowadays, you get fewer calls like this. Most people just go to your website to learn about your business. If they need more specific information, they pick up the phone and call you.
When that happens, you want to be able to respond quickly – without having to scramble to find something – anything – to send them.
Ideally, you want to be able to send that prospect information that is specific to their needs. And you don’t want to overload them with information that is not relevant to their request.
What would your Information Kit look like? What would it include? Here are some possibilities:
Company brochure. This is something you want to create once and only revise if major changes occur with in the organization. Keep your language generic and undated. It should inform (in a general way) but its real goal is to establish your credibility.
Your team. If introducing your team is important, I would keep this separate from the brochure because we all know that team will change in quick order.
Industry-specific or audience-specific solution sheets. For B2B, providing industry-specific solutions is important because buyers want to know you understand their business. Even if what you do is the same for all industries. Similarly, for consumer marketing, an audience-specific solution sheet (for seniors, or veterans, or families with children, etc.) are very useful.
Product/service sales sheets. If you provide multiple products or services, create separate sales sheets for each one. If they overlap, don’t hesitate to indicate that – and don’t be afraid to enclose multiple inserts for each prospect.
Testimonials or case studies. Testimonial sheets with real people (and even better, with photos) can be useful especially if some of those people are well known. Case studies (again with real companies) are even better especially if you can share some useful information.
Price sheets. It’s not for everyone, but if pricing is established and doesn’t vary from job to job, you might want to share this information. Or at least provide some general pricing structure. This gives the prospect some sense of costs which would qualify them if they choose to continue discussions.
Process checklists. If your business involves a multi-step process, you could help the prospect understand that process with a checklist or flow chart.
Coupons. For businesses that use coupons to incentivize purchases, adding a coupon to your information kit could convert those new prospects into customers. Be sure you include an expiration date so that the coupon is acted upon immediately.
Product Samples. Some businesses find that showing product samples is the best way to convert prospects into customers. Obviously, this can only done by mail.
Videos links. If you have videos that you want prospects to see and are relevant to the prospect’s inquiry, include a link (or a series of links) to watch the videos. Your prospects will need to go to your website or video server.
Questionnaire. Chances are you asked the prospect some questions when you had them on the phone, but this gives you a chance to drill down deeper.
Cover Letter. Don’t make this an afterthought. Your cover letter is going to the tour guide for your prospect once they receive your email or mailing package. Make sure your cover letter is personalized and references their inquiry. Explain what elements are attached or in the printed info kit. And make sure you highlight the next step – what you want them to do next.
Next Step Call to Action. This will be in your cover letter, but if you really want to get their attention, you will put it in a separate insert as well. Your Next Step Call to Action could be to book an appointment, schedule a consultation, request an estimate – whatever works in your business.
The Kitchen Sink. Just want to make sure you’re paying attention. Actually, this is an important point because you can overload people with information. Don’t feel that more is better. If you add too much secondary material, the primary material could get lost.
Online or Printed?
Let’s be clear, online (meaning a series of pdfs) is faster, easier and cheaper.
And most prospects want that information immediately. So definitely online. But printed has more impact – in part because few businesses are sending out printed materials.
But if you send a printed Information Kit by mail, you can be sure it will get noticed and remembered. It’s also likely to get a long shelf-life.
But of course, printing costs money and that’s a consideration. If you do print your Information Kit, consider printing a presentation folder with pockets on both sides.
You will also want to professionally print a brochure and some of the sales sheets discussed above.
But there may be some components that need frequent updates that you can print internally.
Other uses of the Information Kit
This post has talked about creating an Information Kit to be used as fulfillment – in response to an phone inquiry to your business.
But you can use your Information Kit in other ways as well.
If you have sales people visiting prospects onsite, the Information Kit can be used as a leave-behind. Again, you want to be sure you’re leaving relevant information and not just an overloaded bundle of materials.
You can also offer your Information Kit on your website. This would be a more generic package of information (unless you want to create multiple versions). But don’t just mention it on your website, promote it. Dedicate some space on your home page (preferably all pages) to show a photo of the Kit and explain what’s in it. Then give them a form (or a link to a form) to exchange your Information Kit for their contact information.
Have some Information Kits available at trade shows. You don’t want to give out a full Kit to every person who passes your booth. You might use some of the sales sheets that way, but save your full kit for people who stop and talk, and who look like qualified prospects. Need help with your own Information Kit?
Let’s schedule a call
Would you like to discuss creating or improving your own Information Kit. Let’s schedule a call and talk about what should go into your Kit.
After we talk, we’ll prepare an estimate to create and produce your materials.
Contact Bob McCarthy at 508-473-8643 or firstname.lastname@example.org